If you’re reading this article, you are one of the fortunate few to have at least one parent still in this world with you. As much as having your parents move in with you can be a blessing, it can always be a nerve-racking time for you both.
Most parents reach a certain age (around the late 70s to early 80s) when living alone no longer becomes the safest or wisest option. It is around this age when they start to forget things, like leaving the stove on or the taps running. It makes logical sense to have them move in with you if you have the space – rather than shipping them off to an old-age home.
Below are five tips to help get your house and kids ready for the grandparents to move in:
If your home has more than one level, chances are you are currently having a sizeable nervous breakdown. The idea of an elderly grandparent falling down a flight of stairs is utterly terrifying.
If you can’t install a stair lift before the big move-in day, consider letting them stay on the lower level if possible. While stair lifts can be great, power outages can prevent your senior citizen from enjoying them. Lower-level living is a great solution – but make sure they can contact you if the need arises.
If your new garden or outdoor area has steep stairs – now is the time to change that. Call in a trusted landscaper and explain your predicament. Instead, choose shorter, flatter stairs, or better yet, a ramp.
Ramps are fantastic for elderly people who already use walking aids or are wheelchair-bound. They will give them the confidence to walk around freely by minimizing their risk of falling and breaking a bone. Older folks are 60% more likely to do damage to themselves during a fall due to a lower bone density and less muscle mass to cushion the blow.
As people age, they start to lose their sense of balance – this is likely due to several health difficulties like high blood pressure, knee pain, and lower core strength. Moving around becomes a bit of a mission, which is why you should install handrails in key areas of your home as soon as possible.
You can buy these online, and easily install them with a quick lesson on DIY handrail measuring – it’s much easier than you think!
Remove Loose Rugs
Remove all items that could be hazardous to your elderly family members when navigating their way around your house. Remember that most older people shuffle when they walk, which means that loose rugs cables, or toys lying around is a no-no.
All grandparents should be encouraged to wear non-slip footwear, especially when walking on a smooth, tiled floor.
Large Print Emergency List
With a growing number of elderly family members moving in with their children, it is increasingly becoming more crucial to ensure they are as safe as possible when you are not around. While it is borderline impossible to guarantee their safety, there are ways you can massively improve their chances. You need to gather a list of emergency contact numbers in case anything ever happens and you need medical attention. You should add more than one doctor’s number in case they don’t pick up and you need more options. If you don’t know who to add to your list, you can do a quick Google search for “pain doctor near me”, that way, you can ensure that your family will be properly taken care of should an emergency arise.
Falls, burns, and accidental poisonings are among the most common accidents that involve older people. When compiling a list of emergency contact numbers, remember to print it in a large font – so it’s easier to see when your eyesight isn’t what it used to be.